Bioshock 2: The End.
Oh Persephone. The moment you walk into a prison and/or mental hospital in a video game, you should be prepared for misery. Persephone delivered on that promise.
I tried to decide what I thought about the level name. In Greek myth, Persephone is the goddess who was kidnapped by Hades and forced to stay in the underworld. Her mother, Demeter, was broken hearted and her father tried to force Hades to release her. Unfortunately, no one had ever taught Persephone not to eat foods given in places like Fairy rafts and the underworld, so she gets stuck there after eating some pomegranate. She is thus forced to spend half of the year in the underworld with Hades and half the world out with her mother — when she’s away, Demeter sulks and frets and winter reigns supreme. Handy little myth for seasons AND handy little myth for this last chapter of Bioshock.
Depending on which character viewpoint you chose, the name could mean a lot. From Lamb’s point of view, she’s Demeter, mourning her daughter and trying to keep her from Hades (Delta). That actually doesn’t make any sense except in the fact that she actually is Eleanor’s mother, but Lamb’s not exactly sane. I think of Lamb as the Hades here, and Sinclair as Zeus, which makes Delta, in an agonized stretch of a metaphor, Demeter.
I got a bit sidetracked here. Let’s focus.
So, Persephone. I started trudging down the long hallway towards Eleanor, convinced that I was heading towards my doom. Surely this whole game has been a big setup to get me to sacrifice myself, to put the self aside, and to die in the name of LOVE before I break my heart etc etc. But this is no time to panic, Delta, soldier on.
(ELEANOR. NOT HELPING)
(LAMB. NOT HELPING)
(PICTURES ON THE WALL. NOT HELPING)
Here we are then, in sight of Eleanor. Sinclair, despite all my distrust, turns out to be a decent chap. He tells me that no matter what happens, I have to save Eleanor. “We are not leaving here without that girl,” he says. As if I need to be convinced! I’m too busy feeling weak with relief that she’s not a big sister or disfigured. But nothing in here is easy, and Lamb is in a tizzy. She’s no threat to me without her family, and at this point her family isn’t much of a threat to me either. She calls a pair of big sisters down.
Look, lady, I’ve spent all my adam on eve/health upgrades, gene tonic slots and inferno upgrades. It’d take a whole lot more than a pair of sisters to take me down at this point.
Sisters down, it’s time to finally get to Eleanor (no, it’s really not). Lamb is now so desperate that she literally SMOTHERS ELEANOR TO DEATH to sever our bond. This is the first time I realized that Lamb actually believes all the shit she’s been spouting and isn’t just an opportunist, smart, not quite sane lady making the best of being stuck underground. She literally believes that death is worse than Eleanor having Delta in her life.
She does revive Eleanor, of course, the first of two seemingly miraculous saves the latter has. We come back to consciousness hearing Lamb warn everyone that they are to let me die naturally, because if I die in rage I can be brought back. UNFORTUNATELY for her, she’s brought Eleanor back and my girl, the one I really thought was going to doom me, is in fact a brilliant little thing. She sends in a little sister in to give me an injection that puts me in control of said little sister, and we’re off to find the pieces of big sister armor. Eleanor wants to be just like me! What a proud moment.
Life as a little sister is terrifying. I hadn’t realized that they saw things so radically different, although of COURSE they do. A level of detail I appreciate: when little sisters harvest in Fontaine Futurustics they talk about the angels with pretty hair — which they then correct to “Dirty hair!” I wondered at that, until as a little sister I saw that they get a flash of reality when they harvest. So the pretty angel turns into a terrifying splicer and then back to a pretty angel.
We have to find some armor pieces to let Eleanor become a big sister (she wants to be just like me!), which gives us a good opportunity to see some hallucinatory bullshit. I like the signs, though:
Eleanor is now a big sisterand I was very disappointed to find that I didn’t get to play as her. Big Sisters have plasmids, she totally could have been playable! No guns, though. I DO get to call her to help whenever things get too dicey, which I do only once or twice because goddammit, she’s who I’m supposed to be PROTECTING.
It’s time for us to escape. We have to find Sinclair, who is in charge of our escape vessel, and we have to go to the depths of Persephone to do so. Here’s where there are still some prisoners — I killed a couple before realizing that they were just sad, broken people, rocking themselves back and forth on the floor. Damnit, Lamb.
Also, damnit, Lamb, you turned Sinclair into a big daddy! You awful monster of a woman. Now I have to kill him! At this point in the game I was not interested in doing things the hard way, or even exploring all that much. I was spooked and the end and escape were in sight so f it. I found the tunnel grate and dithered till I figured out a way to tempt him out of the office and then it was goodbye, Sinclair. You were a bit of a bastard before everything went down, but you sure helped me out and you didn’t pull an Atlas on me.
Trouble continues — Lamb REALLY doesn’t want an escape, so she messes with the ballasts (or something, I tuned it out, I was completely focused on doing whatever Eleanor told me go do). We have to drain them with fire, and to do that we need more little sisters. Also, Eleanor doesn’t want to leave them behind. Me, either, sister! So off to the two pediatric wards (…in a jail. Sure.) to fight off some waves of splicers and rescue the little guys.
Now, for the last gauntlet of the game: we have to stay alive long enough for Eleanor and her army to evaporate the water. Since I’m full on everything from bombs to proximity mines to traps and mini turrets, this poses absolutely no problem at all, and soon enough it’s esc…
Well, no. Lamb’s gonna bring the whole place down rather than let us be free. For fuck’s sake! Eleanor and I start running and I see her freeze and dissolve as bombs go off and what the hell. We almost made it, kid. Maybe the little sisters’ll survive this.
It occurs to me now that she was teleporting, not dying.
There’s not a lot to say about the ending. I’ll let it speak for itself.
The exciting thing is now I can start Infinite. Which is straight up gorgeous. And play more Wildstar, which is impressing me left and right!